Officials of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) detachment in Warren, Mich., announced plans this week to award a contract to Elbit worth about $685,000 for 68 embedded computing circuit cards for the AH-64's Sight Electronic Unit (SEU), an electronics box in the helicopter's IHADSS.
The IHADSS provides a visually coupled interface between the AH-64 pilot and the helicopter. It has a helmet-mounted display monocular with a 40-by-30-degree field of view with symbology and video overlays.
Electro-optical sensors on the nose of the Apache helicopter are slaved IHADSS monocular on the pilot's helmet, which match the sensor's view with the pilot's head. It is an essential element of the Apache helicopter's look-and-shoot system, which enables the pilot to search for targets by moving his head, and engaging targets as he sees them.
The SEU and circuit cards are critical for the safe operation of the AH-640 helicopter during nighttime nap-of-the-Earth (NOE) flight, DLA officials point out.
The SEU controls the night sensor line of sight (LOS) by monitoring and reporting the pilot's head position, assuring that the night sensors correctly point where the pilot looks. SEU or circuit card malfunction during nighttime NOE flight could risk a helicopter crash.
The circuit card is proprietary to Elbit, and no other suitable sources for the part are available, DLA officials say. There are no other applications, military or commercial for the part.
Elbit acquired the Apache IHADSS product line, as well as technical and data rights, in about 2000, and has the facilities, personnel, and technology established to manufacture the parts, DLA officials say. No other contractors are being qualified to provide these parts.